Skip to main content

Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

See other formats


The other instance was of a different nature, but the same result was
obtained. The Germans published a " reptile press/' newspapers and
periodicals printed in Polish. There was a definite tendency to refuse to
buy any of these journals, but the Underground Authorities realised that
it would be difficult to enforce a categorical ban on them, since many
people had to have a newspaper if only because of the general shortage of
paper for all kinds of purposes. Moreover, there was a great lack of
news and shortage of the printed word. But, anxious to restrain citizens
from buying these periodicals, and at the same time to check up on the
discipline, the * Directorate of Civil Resistance * prohibited the purchase
of any newspaper whatever on Fridays. The Germans were compelled
to reduce their editions on that day.
How the liaison between the Polish Government in London and the
Polish Underground Authorities in Poland operated can be deduced from
the fact that the Underground Press and every underground publication,
including even books, were obtainable in Britain within a few days or
weeks of their issue. In 1944 it was disclosed that supplies of armaments
and material had been transported by plane to Poland at the request of
the Underground, while liaison officers and politicians made journeys to
and from England, landing on pre-arranged airfields which were protected
by the troops of the Home Army, in some cases as many as one or two
divisions were employed in these actions. The Polish and the World
Press frequently quoted extracts from broadcasts which were given by
the official radio stations of the Plenipotentiary Government in Poland.*
THE UNDERGROUND PRESS
The most powerful instrument which kept Poland alive, which directed
the moral forces of the country^ and revived faith in her destiny as a nation
during the most critical moments of the war, was her Press. After the
disaster of 1939, and the partition of the country between the two invaders,
who immediately suppressed p all papers, the press began to function
underground. No concern, no authority had any influence over it.
Except for a few papers which were the official organs of the Underground
Authorities, it was an entirely independent Press, expressing the opinion
of its respective publishers, mainly local organisations and groups of a
political, social, economic, religious, self-educational or literary character.
Each of these groups revealed their existence mainly through these secret
publications : journals, books, etc.
* The Evening Post,, December 12th, 1943> gave the following information
regarding the main station Swit (Dawn) :
Swit is a high-powered transmitter which operates on a specific wavelength
known to Allied operators outside Poland, It has been in operation for two years
but it never broadcasts twice from the same place, since it must evade the Nazi
radio-location system and the Gestapo. This station requires a dozen or more
persons as operating personnel, but it is highly mobile and thus has been able
to evade detection, or at least it has been able to continue to broadcast,
70